Curb appeal is the feeling a potential buyer has of a home as they approach the property. It is solely based on how the home/ property looks from the outside. This initial impression has extended beyond the physical and into the virtual realm becaue now it isn’t how it looks in person but how it looks online. The way a home looks online can have a huge influence a buyer’s interest — in fact, in today’s highly competitive market, that’s where curb appeal really begins.
Focus on the home’s ‘wow’ factor
Buying a home tends to be a very emotional experience. It is, therefore, critically important that a seller sets the proper stage in generating a positive emotional response from a buyer. Whether a buyer sees the property online or physically pulls up to it, they’re either connecting or not connecting with that property in those first moments. How it looks from the outside brings about expectations of what the inside looks like once they enter.
Curb appeal literally starts at the curb, and sometimes before it. Mailboxes, sidewalks, driveways, and aprons are the first things a buyer sees upon approach. If they’re looking at a cracked or broken driveway or sidewalk, or a mailbox that is tilted and rusting, it can significantly impact a buyer’s psyche, whether they are conscious of it or not.
If you’ve already set a good impression with a home’s exterior, it will allow for a more hopeful expectation of what a buyer will see inside. However, if you set a poor example, any positive emotional experience you’re looking for becomes an uphill battle. No matter how beautiful the interior is, the mindset of the buyer has been influenced before they’ve even stepped in the front door.
Little things make a big impact
When addressing a home’s staging, as the seller you want to forego your personal taste. Declutter your yard by picking up after kids and pets, and enlist the help of a friend, neighbor, or agent to give you a fresh perspective on anything you’re not sure about.
What if you have a limited selling budget and can’t spend a lot of renovations or fixes? Don’t worry because you can have a home that looks as good as those in which significantly more money was spent on staging. Clark suggests the following affordable examples:
- Fixing tarnished or loose hardware. Tighten knobs, pulls, and knockers with a screwdriver, polish them, or give them a quick coat of paint. If you need to replace them, you can purchase separate pieces from a big-box retailer or hardware store for $10 and up. Full hardware sets can cost anywhere from $100 to more than $1,000 for custom-made pieces.
- Fixing or swapping out older light fixtures. Perhaps your exterior lights have been in place for years and are loose, tarnished, or don’t work at all. Polishing and painting lights is an easy job for beginners. However, if you’re replacing them all together and not doing the work yourself, you’ll average about $60 to $130 per light for parts and labor.
- Repairing or replacing shutters. Power wash, paint trim, and replace stiles on broken shutters. If the wood is too old or rotted, however, you may have to replace them altogether. Shutters range from $70 a pair at big retailers to about $500 for custom pieces.
- Give an old mailbox a new makeover. The mailbox is usually the first thing anyone sees when they approach a home, so make yours pop. Give it a deep clean to remove dirt buildup and cobwebs. When repainting it, go for sleek ombre, copper, or off-white colors, or match its scheme to your home. In warmer months, plant flowers at its base. You can also start fresh with a new one — mailboxes range in price from as little as $13 from a big-box retailer to $1000 for a more customized model.
About Danielle Verboski